Scarratt confident Lightning can close gap on league leaders Harlequins

England international Emily Scarratt says Loughborough Lightning possess the quality to close the gap on the big guns ahead of this weekend’s visit from league leaders Harlequins in the Tyrrells Premier 15s, writes Alasdair McDowall.

Scarratt impressed throughout Lightning’s 35-15 bonus-point win over Wasps at Twyford Avenue last weekend, scoring two penalties to help her side move up to fourth in the table.

They may not be carrying a 100% record into round six this weekend but Lightning were agonisingly close to overcoming Saracens who edged them 28-24 earlier this month.

While the result didn’t go their way, Scarratt believes it is exactly this kind of performance that proves her side can compete with the likes of Sarries and Harlequins for a spot in the top two.

“The gap is definitely narrowing,” said Scarratt.

“The Sarries result was so close and there were some good bits in the other games too.

“We got to keep our heads down, but I think we are pretty happy with how things are going our end.

“The ambitions are really high. We are very aware of the quality of players we’ve got and obviously we’re very ambitious because of that; we want to be right up there for sure.”

Lightning’s performance at Wasps last weekend was a convincing one, and while Scarratt is backing her team for plenty of future success, she also said they need to prevent getting too ahead of themselves before facing Quins this weekend.

“It’s not about peaking now,” added the former Team GB women’s 7s captain.

“We probably did it a bit too soon last season and obviously we are still only five games in so the table is a bit distorted, but we’ve now won more than we’ve lost which is the positive thing.

“It’s about making the play offs, so long as we keep going in the right direction hopefully we’ll get there.

“A massive game against Harlequins is up next, they have made the league final for the last couple of years so we know what that’s going to bring.

“That’s the challenge for us, it’s a classic cliché, but we need to take it one game at a time.”